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Thomas and Friends Steam Into China

It's full steam ahead for the world's most famous blue engine, Thomas the Tank Engine, as it prepares to make its television debut in China. HIT Ent. has announced that THOMAS & FRIENDS will be broadcast on China's national broadcaster CCTV for four series of the popular preschool show.

The distribution agreement marks the company's first venture into China. Alongside the CCTV deal, HIT has also appointed the Promotional Partners Group Ltd. (PPW) as licensing agent for THOMAS & FRIENDS in China. Its first range of consumer products, from TOMY and RC2, is scheduled for launch in 2009.

In addition to this deal, Children's Fun Publishing, which is part of the Egmont group, will launch THOMAS & FRIENDS publishing in China in early 2009 with 12 TV tie-in story book titles followed by coloring and activity titles and THOMAS story library books.

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